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so tomorrow i will have a 1983 royal se, the only problem with it is that the gas gauge isnt working. Now, im new to working on trucks and have never done gas tanks(but i have worked on cars i own a firebird and a camaro), what should i check first?

also since i know plenty of other fourms, heres a pic
 

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That looks like a good ole truck you're getting. My experience with that era gauge is that it works til it doesn't, then it's usually the gauge sending unit in the tank. Haven't looked around for one in a while, but some web crawling might turn up a supplier or restorer. Til then you just have to keep up with the odometer readings. Estimate your mpg and do the math.
 

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Those are usually simple 3 wire systems (+ & -) to the gauge sending unit in the tank, and a pulse wire coming back out to the dash. (mechanical fuel pump on the engine)

Crawl around under there careful not to get dirt or someones loved ones ashes in your eyes and check for power going in and coming out.

If it says that it's always empty, it may still be working but the float went bad and is just sitting on the bottom of the tank. Might be as simple as removing the float cleaning it and re-soldering the seam.

If you have to pull it out of the tank...I wouldn't disturb any electrical connections (screws/nuts) that still give you enough room to pull it. Cut the wires far enough away and at different lengths so you can re-splice them and still have access later.
 
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